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Viola Concerto in G major, TWV51:G9

composer

 
Given our modern-day reverence for J S Bach it can seem surprising that in the musical world of the mid-eighteenth century Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) was the North German composer of supreme fame and influence. This was partly thanks to the sheer quantity of music composed during his long life (Telemann was born before Bach, yet by the time he died Haydn was a mature composer aged thirty-two and Mozart had written his first operas), and partly due to his early mastery of the opportunities for self-promotion presented by the explosion in music printing and distribution in the early decades of the eighteenth century. Telemann’s early works often explore a kind of fusion between the melodic and rhythmic energy of the Italian concerto and the ornamented elegance of French music of the time. The Viola Concerto, probably dating from 1712, is typical in that it has, in Telemann’s own colourful description 'the smell of France' in the slow movements while owing much to Corelli in the rhythmic drive of the faster movements. The Largo and Allegro form an opening-movement pair, but it is the beautiful third movement Andante which is the heart of the work, revealing Telemann at his most elegant and harmonically adventurous.

from notes by Felix Warnock © 2018

Recordings

Concerti by Telemann, Tartini & others
Studio Master: SIGCD549Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

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